Sarah Todora had it all two years ago only to take a hard fall.
After battling a year of meth hell, she's emerged more determined than ever to reclaim a singing career.
Doors were flying open for the then-18-year-old in 2006. The community had embraced her. The Sahara gave her a headlining gig. A Good Samaritan gave her and her father a rent-free condo in the Turnberry luxury towers. That August she was booked to open for soul legend Al Green at the Las Vegas House of Blues when she got hooked on crystal methamphetamine.
"You have all these things, and within two months they were gone," Todora said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I was just totally unplugged from everything and everyone."
Drug-free for almost a year now, she made the call three weeks ago that her father, Phil Todora, has been waiting for.
"I told him I wanted to sing again and that I needed him. It wasn't something I could do on my own," she said.
A month ago, she was hired by the M&M's World to greet visitors in the M&M costume.
"This go-around I'll appreciate what I have more after being in that suit in 115 degrees," she said.
Her father, who battled his own drug demons but has been clean and sober for 13 years, entered her into an addiction recovery program in Louisiana in August 2006.
"I was just waiting to die," she said.
When she got out, she went to a halfway house. She's been back in Las Vegas for 21 months, mostly working odd jobs. Her father, who now works in the halfway house where Sarah stayed, arrived last week, with her first car. She has wheels to go along with her dreams of a comeback.
"It's so good to be Sarah again," she said.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The pieces are falling into place for Clint Holmes. After his Aug. 1-3 engagement at the Suncoast, he's doing a mid-August preview/benefit at UNLV's Judy Bayley Theatre for the School of Performing Arts and the UNLV theater department. Then it's on to the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for a Sept. 4-6 engagement "and then hopefully on to London. We hope it will be the springboard to take us the rest of the way," said Holmes. The show will be called "The Clint Holmes' Broadway Project" and it will be an evening of theater music featuring some of the songs from "Just Another Man," the musical he's been refining for several years.
Las Vegan Steven Jackson, the NFL All-Pro running back for the St. Louis Rams, celebrating his 25th birthday Tuesday at the Vinter Grill. ... Mel Gibson, with his wife and seven children, attended the 10 p.m. performance of "Love" (Mirage) Monday night in celebration of their son Louis' 21st birthday. Gibson held his young grandson throughout the show. ... Kobe Bryant, his wife, Vanessa, and their children at Red 8 (Wynn) on Saturday. ... Self-help author and professional speaker Tony Robbins, checking out "Bodies ... the Exhibition" (Tropicana) on Monday. ... At Morton's on Saturday: NBA analyst Scot Pollard and entertainer Brian McKnight, at different tables. ... Usher, in the locker room Saturday congratulating his friend Anderson Silva on his first-round knockout of James Irvin at the Palms. It was Usher's first UFC event live. Also at the fight: Jamie Foxx, Paul Pierce, Mandy Moore and Everlast.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Los Angeles made the list of the top 10 most walkable cities in the U.S. Nobody walks in Los Angeles! The only reason we even have sidewalks is so Andy Dick has some place to sleep." -- Craig Ferguson